As we venture into a brand new year, many people take this time to assess their past year and their future goals. If you are reading this blog, you too are probably one of those people. Resolutions are designed to bring people closer to happiness or to the idea they hold of what happiness is.
Often times I find that a person’s idea of happiness for themselves includes actions of another. Now that is not to say this is a bad thing, however it bears some exploration. At times when you probe the question, “I am happy when_______________ “and that happiness involves the actions (done or not done) by another person, you are giving your happiness power away. The statement “I will be happy when I am married to a wonderful man/woman” requires many actions to be taken by another individual, for which you may or may not control. This is only one blatant example, but do you see how it might matter?
I often find when looking at an individual’s goals that they are so focused on the end result they fail to see they are giving away their power to be happy or successful to someone else. For example, often sales people tack their goals to the number of customers they have or sales they make. Do you see how that sets them up for an excuse to be unhappy? A sales person has no control over if someone buys their product or service. A more productive option might look like this: I, salesperson, will make 40 calls to prospective customers and 20 maintenance calls to current customers and write 30 proposals for existing or new customers.
Do you see how that goal still puts people in mindset to propel them forward without tying their happiness or success to the customer buying something? This also allows for the little beauty called integrity. This type of goal will allow the sales person to decide that maybe their product isn’t well suited for a particular customer, maybe something else would be a better fit. Do you think that if you goal or happiness is tied to the other person buying the product a sales person will have the same focus? If the sales person has made the call and listened carefully to find out their product didn’t fit the customer, do you think that customer might have confidence for a future, maybe bigger sale later?
So back to the idea of what happiness looks like. I suggest you take a good look at your resolutions and goals for the coming year and see if you are giving away your happiness power. I encourage you to rethink any goals that rely on the action of another to make you happy/accomplished/successful and return that power to its rightful owner.
By aligning our goals with actions under our control we can continue to strive to improve and grow all while maintaining integrity. A goal achieved at someone’s expense never feels as good as one in which you push yourself and achieve it and more people benefit in addition to the goal setter.
I don’t know about you, but I like the power to create my own happiness and not wait or expect anyone else to provide my happiness. In the end, if I own it, I can share it with others and we can enjoy our happiness and success together.
Here’s to you handling your keys and riding that happiness to your goal destination!